Firefly Aerospace uses rocket engine to light birthday candles in epic cake video


Let’s light that candle! The folks at Firefly Aerospace took a brief break from rocket development recently to fire up an engine in honor of co-founder Max Polyakov, who turned 43 years old Tuesday (June 30).

The Reaver rocket engine, in true celebratory form, was used to light candles on a large birthday cake as high-speed cameras rolled, according to a new video. (The other planned use for the engine will be to launch small satellites to orbit cheaply, using Firefly’s Alpha rocket.)

“Anyone that’s getting older understands that one of the most difficult problems is figuring out how to light all those darn birthday candles on the cake,” said Firefly’s other co-founder, Tom Markusic, in the video, which the company released on Twitter and YouTube. In the video, Markusic wore a multi-color birthday hat and a T-shirt that says “Texas Rocket Science,” a nod to Firefly’s headquarters in Cedar Park, just north of Austin. 

Firefly Aerospace used a Reaver rocket engine to light candles on a birthday cake to celebrate the 43rd birthday of co-founder and investor Max Polyakov in a June 30, 2020 video.  (Image credit: Firefly Aerospace)

The video showed Markusic unsuccessfully trying to light birthday candles on his own. “They melt. They burn you. It’s actually a pretty difficult problem,” he said. “To solve the problem, we’ve devised a rather unique solution to light all of the candles at once.”



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